Review | Rebel Girls Animal Allies

Meet 25 brave, compassionate scientists, veterinarians, activists, and others who fight for animal rights and conservation. Animal Allies takes readers all around the world—to the tops of trees and the bottom of oceans, deep into the jungle and high into the mountains.

Swim with the sharks alongside Eugenie Clark, build bat houses with Amanda Lear, nurse a baby hippo to health with Christina Gorsuch, and protect endangered seahorses with Amanda Vincent and Heather Koldewey.

With a foreword by zoologist Lucy King and activities curated by conservationist Bindi Irwin, this book is sure to inspire animal lovers everywhere. Plus, scannable codes let you listen to longer stories on the Rebel Girls App!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I love love loved this installment in the Rebel Girls series! Any kind of animal advocacy and conservation is a dear subject to me and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about so many girls in the wildlife space that I did not know about. As with other installments in the series the interactive aspect, art and activities included were perfect for the tone of the book and series itself.

Happy reading!

Blitz | A Crown Forged by Victory’s Consequence by Aaryanna Abbott & Marlayna James

A Crown Forged By Victory’s Consequence
Aaryanna Abbott & Marlayna James
(The Blackened Tablet Series, #1)
Publication date: January 3rd 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Three hundred years ago, the sacred tablet granted by their god, Jezabet, turned black, and eight kingdoms broke free, plummeting into the bottomless sea. There was no warning, and no one knows why.

Now, a strange illness plagues Aldersward. Crowned Prince Aedyn’s sisters, Achelle and Annora, his father, and countrymen are desperate and grief-stricken. All hope is lost…

Until someone dreams, and Aedyn leaves behind his mistress and his betrothed to cure their nation. He enlists his friends; a brazen playboy, a gentle strongman, and an ancient mentor. Together, they set out on a perilous journey—few believe they will survive.

This isn’t a fairy tale—s3x becomes currency, murder is ordinary, and love doesn’t conquer all.

Everyone loves a hero—good triumphs evil. But few dare to question how victory ripples into consequences. Explore this exciting concept in the Blackened Tablet Series.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Day 132
Division Compound
Crow’s Pass City, Baitsloam

The Alders, strung together, were marched through the torch-lit streets as deafening crowds lined any stairwell, rooftop, or balcony. They shouted, spit, and threw food. Auren could see Bennet’s lifeless body carried by two men. He focused on containing his anger and scrutinised their surroundings. If any hope for escape presented itself, the information would be invaluable.

“Not as brave here, are ye?” A lanky Bait man stepped forward and spit in Auren’s face.

The Alders filled with rage and pulled at the thick restraints wound from their hands to their elbows, wanting to defend their leader, but Auren shook his head, stopping their struggle.

Pointing, children merrily chanted, “We’re going to hang the olive monsters!”

“This was too easy, ye cowards.”

Someone tossed a pail of urine and excrement over them.

“We’re going to kill yer families.” Another vehemently called.

“I’ll enjoy watching ye swing.”

Cackling laughs followed every phrase.

They left the commoners behind as wood rubbing against stone rang out. A massive gate lifted above their heads, and the military men stomped through with their prisoners in tow.

When the gate fell behind them, many Baits dispersed, leaving about fifty to escort the captives. Auren counted the paces as they came to a stone structure. He noted the other buildings and landmarks, then what the building looked like as they pushed him inside.

They planted the Alders, faces first, against a hard stone wall and a wooden door swung outwards, then they tossed Bennet onto the floor.

“Inside.” The first man was hauled forward by his tunic, and the others had no choice but to follow.

The door slammed shut on the windowless dark and musty room. The sound vibrating through to their souls. It felt very final as the lock loudly snapped into place.

In the blackness, Auren’s men fought against the coarse restraints.

What looked like a candle flickered to life between them as Adrian pointed his finger and held it to the slick-coated binds holding them together. As his flame dried the piss, excrement, and other juices, the stench was putrid. Finally, the rope caught fire and burned.

He rushed to Auren, but his solidly tied binds had no give, and as the other men offered their hands with the same outcome, they sat on the cold, damp floor. The ropes were too tight to burn without injury.

Auren waited motionless for the last one to be checked and an internal battle waged between his vanity, self-pity, and honour.

I can’t do this. Wasn’t the wolf attack enough? He stretched out his shaking hands in front of him.

Adrian’s shoulders slumped in defeat as he turned to face their leader.

Women will never let you touch them again. What would Anya think if she knew you stood by and did nothing?

Understanding their leader’s request, Adrian shook his head and escaped backward until his frame was trapped against the cold stone wall.

I can’t lose a limb. Can’t it be someone else’s turn to do the right thing? Do this. Auren strode towards him, throwing his bound hands on the man’s shoulder.

Animated with fear, Adrian shook his head.

Can your body take any more pain? Everyone will pity you, just as when you were a child. You could be their only hope. The leader pinned the man’s eyes with his own.

The pain from it—you’ll never want to touch another woman. Sweat built from fear on Auren’s skin, but he nodded, persuading the gifted man.

Your men are counting on you. I’ll be worthless to our kingdom—to Aedyn.

Adrian lowered his hands, holding them farther from his own body.

Isn’t your day to day hard enough already? You’ll die from this. You’ll be a helpless invalid. Auren dragged his hands down, then jumped up and down a few times, forcing adrenalin to rush through his body.

You coward! You’re weak. It’s no wonder your parents gave you away. He took a deep breath.

You’re nothing but a quitter. You could be Aedyn’s only hope. He lifted his wrists into the flame.

The sweet smell of burning flesh carried through the small room. The men focused on the sacrifice their leader made as they listened to the sizzling meat and his muffled cries of pain.

From somewhere in the darkness, someone hurled himself onto the pair—contact and flame broken.

Auren struggled where he fell, his restraints making it impossible to sit. Adrian rolled on his side and relit his finger.

Bennet towered over them, shaking his head as he pulled at his own ropes. Blood seeped from the friction on his wrists, making the restraints slippery. He sat between them, lifted his heel to his wrists, and used his boot to force the rope over one of his thumbs, freeing his hand. He pulled his gag free, then removed Auren’s as he surveyed the blistered and broken flesh of his hands.

The old man’s voice seethed with anger. “Jordan and Jezabet, what were ye thinking?”

“Getting us out of here. Are you okay?”

Bennet nodded. “Better than ye, I don’t know if I can get ye untied without causing ye pain.”

“Untie another first. Return to me when the rest are free.”


Author Bio:

Aaryanna Abbott: This is another of my pen names. For every pen name, I use a different part of who I am. I imagine this is how she looks.

What’s this part of me like?

I was a daddy’s girl. The very epitome of spoilt.

I love to be wild and crazy—experience everything the world has to offer. I’m adventurous and my carefree disposition is contagious.

I’m loyal to a fault and don’t care what expectations or labels society has bestowed upon me. I believe one’s truth is more valuable than anyone’s perception.

This part of me writes for escapism—to be free of my mundane day to day and live in a magical world almost as real to me as earth. Except in my imaginary world, I control all things and it pleases me to no end.

Do you know how happy you would be living there?

Marlayna lives in Canada where she writes romance, erotica, women’s fiction, and fantasy. She loves video games, TV, reading, and writing.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


2023 Goals | Life Update

Hey everyone, I’m just going to get into it right away – 2022 was not my year and things kind of went off the rails for me. This was especially true for the last few months of the year. For the first time in years I didn’t hit my reading goal and it was purely because everything that happened destroyed my mental health and sent me into a slump. I’m not going to get deep into it, but a new diagnosis of another auto immune condition was added to my list – at this point I have multiple autoimmune bingos and would prefer no more. I also spent 2 months fighting with insurance to try and get the medication I needed and Calypso had another December health scare (she’s fine! thankfully we just needed to run some more intensive tests to make sure she was good). Those are just the most intensive of the issues I dealt with in the last few months.

So what about 2023? Well I’m really hoping to get back on track and definitely doing some catch up here in January. I’m probably not going to set any super hard goals for myself and simply work on finding my healthy place mental health wise. There’s going to be a little more mood reading happening until I’m completely back in my groove and mostly I’m going to try to just enjoy what I’m doing. 🙂

As for writing, of course I’m going to do Camp NaNoWrimo and NaNoWrimo, but I’m also not going to set hard goals there and just enjoy the process.

I’m really hoping that 2023 is a year of healing and adjusting for me, there are definitely some lifestyle adjustments with my new diagnosis. I set my reading goal at 200 like I have the last couple years and I feel positive about it but won’t be upset with myself if life happens and I don’t reach it.

Happy 2023!

Blitz | One Hundred Dreams by Kelly Collins

One Hundred Dreams
Kelly Collins
(An Aspen Cove Romance, #22)
Publication date: December 29th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He’s a man trying to keep things under control.
She’s a woman yearning to break free.
Is this a disaster waiting to happen or a love story in the making?

Actress Cameron Madden is sick and tired of being tired. With her last movie failing at the box office and her career in question, she heads to Aspen Cove to lick her wounds. The small mountain town is the perfect place to escape the prying eyes of a critical public, the demands of her career, and the rules set by her team. Expecting a female bodyguard named Valery, she’s shocked to find the script has been flipped and Valery is a tall, dark, and annoying man who goes by Val. The first thing he does is hand her a set of rules—his rules. And she plans to break every one of them.

The last thing bodyguard Valery Armstrong wants to do is babysit an actress, but when the job comes in, he is the only one available. Saving the day and picking up the pieces is what he’s been doing since his father passed away. That single event ten years ago taught him one thing—prepare for every possibility. Before agreeing to take on Cameron, he asks himself how difficult could one woman be? When he arrives, he hands her the list, then watches as she gifts him with a heart-stopping smile—right before tearing the page to pieces. How difficult could one woman be? Cameron Madden is about to show him.

Aspen Cove, where rules are made to be broken…

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

He pulled an envelope from his pocket and handed it to her. “These are my rules.”

She seemed to sink in front of him, but it was a momentary muscle lapse before that invisible string pulled her back up. Only this time, it seemed to drag her forward to stand in front of him. She swiped the envelope from his hand and tore open the flap. Once she drew out the single page with his rules, she let the envelope fall to the floor.

He watched as her eyes moved across the page. Second by second, they grew until he was sure they’d pop from her skull.

She raised her head and stared at him. “Are you serious?”

“Why would I give you that if I wasn’t serious?”

“It’s a page with one rule. You said rules.”

He smiled. “I don’t need more than one.”

She glanced at the paper and lifted her head. “You make all the rules?” She stared at him like he’d sprouted a horn in the center of his forehead.

“That’s my one rule. Take it or leave it.”

Her jaw dropped, and she took a step back. “What are you going to do? Leave?” She tore the page in half and let the pieces fall to the marble floor next to the envelope. “You’re not the boss, and you don’t make the rules.”

“Wrong.” He turned around, walked back to the elevator, pushed the button, and waited.

“You’re seriously leaving? How am I supposed to get to Colorado?”

He took several cleansing breaths before he spun around to face her. “Nothing has changed. You have a flight waiting at Los Angeles International Airport. It will take you to Denver, where you’ll have to get a ride to Aspen Cove. Rent a car. It’s only a few hours’ drive from there to your destination.”

She seemed to wobble on her heels. “You’re abandoning me?”

He shook his head. “I’m not. I gave you my rules, and you dismissed them. You don’t get to be the top private security firm in the country if you break your own rules, and my only rule is I make the rules.” The elevator door opened, and he stepped inside. “I’ll give you ten minutes to decide. If you’re not down in the lobby by then, I’ll leave. It’s that simple.”

She opened her mouth to speak, but the doors closed before she could get a word out.


Author Bio:

Like FREEBIES? Join the VIP readers at http://bit.ly/KellyCollinsFreeBook for members-only exclusives!

~ Tip: Just hit “FOLLOW” for notifications about deals & new releases! ~

International bestselling author of more than thirty novels, Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping love alive. Always a romantic, she blends real-life events with her vivid imagination to create characters and stories that lovers of contemporary romance, new adult, and romantic suspense will return to again and again.

Kelly has sold more than a quarter of a million books worldwide, and in 2021 she was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Award Gold Medal in the Contemporary Romance category for A Tablespoon of Temptation.

You can learn more about Kelly at http://www.authorkellycollins.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Review | The Second First Chance by Mona Shroff

The Second First Chance is a big, wonderful, messy love story about family, heartbreak, strength and courage. It shows us that sometimes what we want is what we least expect, and that everything we need is often right in front of us.

Strength comes in many different forms.  

Riya Desai and Dhillon Vora grew up together. Sharing secrets, hiding in their tree house, they were playmates, best friends and later—as teenagers—almost something more. Until the devastating house fire that ripped them apart, claiming the life of Dhillon’s father and Riya’s big brother, Samir. Riya and Dhillon have barely spoken since that terrible night, but they both made big decisions based on that fire.

Riya has chosen to fight fire with everything she’s got, but it’s not easy. As the only female firefighter and one of the only people of color at her fire hall, she has to prove herself over and over. Plus, she’s hidden her career from her family.

Dhillon wanted to heal things, so he became a veterinarian. When a chance encounter with a rescue dog throws Riya and Dhillon together again, he’s furious at her career choice. After what happened to them, how can she run into fires on purpose? For Riya, Dhillon’s anger is unacceptable: How can he not see that she’s protecting others from the very losses they both experienced?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book sounded like a fun, possibly second chance lovers or enemies to lovers, so I wanted to give it a read. First and foremost, I really enjoyed the culture that was woven into the story. It featured dynamic characters, especially Riya and a ton of emotion as the two leads as well as others went through the process of healing and reconciling after the traumatic event that impacted them and altered their lives.

All in all this was a very emotional and touching story that was full of culture, growth and healing. The writing was easy to read and flowed really well, making the story easy to progress through. Shroff is definitely an author I would pick up again after reading this.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Cut From Stone by Brenden O’Meara

Cut From Stone
Brendan O’Meara
Publication date: September 29th 2022
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

The world is fresh from humanity splitting in half – the BlankZone in the East and the Federation in the West. As an inevitable attack from the BlankZone looms, the Federation makes swift, mysterious, and unexpected moves to prepare.

James, a 17-year-old living in the Federation, is drafted by the military. He learns he has been selected to join a group of skilled teens who will be transformed into elite human weapons. Follow James and his friends as they mature from teenagers to lethal warriors. Together, they will face life altering events as they navigate a new existence dedicated to protecting their friends, families, and humanity at all costs.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The screen was broken into multiple squares focused on Northern Africa. Instead of the differentiated plains of grass, earth, and water with settlements sprinkled throughout, there was a sprawling web of interconnected buildings, roads, and a brand-new infrastructure spanning the width of the continent and trailing off the screen to the south.

They completely took over.

They weren’t practice. They were their base, James thought in terror of the army that required an entire continent to operate.

As the images filtered in, the web of settlements grew throughout the landmass. There were entire squares filled with what looked like long, lean barracks neighboring full towns of armories, each covering the same square mileage as a major city.

Harbors along the coasts were filled with ships and docks, while airfields were strewn throughout the flatlands displaying gleaming rows of chrome weaponry perfectly arrayed, wing to wing.

“How the hell did they pull this off?” asked Stacie. “It’s just… wham, an entire continent disappeared and in its place… this.”

“We have no clue. We’re having trouble determining exactly when all of this happened, but it must have been months ago.” Months?! James’s mind was spinning, thinking of the physical demands and resources it would take to build infrastructure of this magnitude. They were looking at a decades long project at the least. If whoever ran the BlankZone accomplished all of this in a matter of months, what else were they capable of?

He kept scanning the area when he noticed clouds were blocking some of the images. He moved closer and realized they were moving in an odd pattern, flowing over the land, and petering out along the southwest coast. He looked around trying to find where they started, but the originator was offscreen.

Is that smoke? He wondered what source of fire could be so widespread it caused clouds on such a grand scale. His mind drifted to pictures of volcanos he studied in high school.

“How did we get these?” James asked, trying to wrap his mind around the enormous scale of the base.

“Same as before. A break in their satellite protection and constant attempts to hack through,” Croyton replied. “Different this time though.”

“How so?” asked Stacie from the other end of the line. “They meant us to see these shots.”
“A warning,” James said quietly.

“A threat,” Croyton replied stonily. “They want us to know what they’re capable of, how easily they can assert control without blinking an eye. The ships were a warning. This…” He shook his head, unblinking. “This tells us how ready they are.”

Author Bio:

Raised in White Plains, New York, Brendan O’Meara formed a love of stories and books from a young age. He has spent his free time over the last decade crafting his debut novel, Cut From Stone, book one in the Crafting Humanity series.

It began in Philadelphia where he attended college daydreaming about a dystopian reality. With a vivid imagination (as described by his middle school teachers) and a passion for adventure, Brendan’s novels will transport you to a different life and capture you from cover to cover.

Brendan lives in Washington, DC with his daughter, wife, and two dogs. You will find him on the weekends drinking a beer watching the Packers and Notre Dame football games. He is an avid reader with a specific interest in sci-fi, anything dystopian, fantasy, history, and all levels of fiction.

Brendan would love to hear from you, feel free to contact him any time at brendan.omeara@craftinghumanity.com.

Finally, visit craftinghumanity.com and sign up for our email lists for news, updates, and information on the rest of the Crafting Humanity series. We will not spam you!

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Review | A Small Affair by Flora Collins

A young woman’s life is torn apart when her wealthy ex-lover is found deadalong with his wife.

Vera is ruthlessly ambitious, beautiful, and knows how to get exactly what she wants—no matter who stands in the way. When she meets a wealthy older man on an exclusive dating app, she thinks nothing of the wife he tells her he’s separated from. But days later, when the man and his wife are found dead in their home, Vera is immediately blamed for their deaths and branded as good as a murderer.

A year later, she emerges from a cocoon of self-pity and tries to reenter the world, but the specter of scandal still clings to her. Then she’s invited to a memorial for the wife of her former lover. As she learns more about the family, and about the couple and their friends, she begins to suspect there was more to the story than an affair gone wrong. In a quest for redemption, Vera uncovers layers of lies and close-kept secrets held by an inner circle of filthy rich tech millionaires who will go to any lengths to protect their reputations.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Slow burns in any genre can be a hit or miss for me, sometimes I find they can’t hold my attention, but this one didn’t have that problem. I was engaged from the get go and invested in the story.

I did enjoy how dependent on the story the characters were and though I didn’t always like Vera, I was always engaged by her story as the facts came to light and the mystery unraveled. There are some real life issues woven in, which was nice to see, as well as the complexity in the characters, especially Vera.

There were definitely some reveals that were predictable, but overall it was an enjoyable and captivating read.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Between Takes by Morgana Bevan

Between Takes
Morgana Bevan
(Kings of Screen, #1)
Publication date: August 17th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

“So I’m clear: you want me to babysit an off-the-rails actor for six months?”

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

My family moved, my ex took my friends when he left, and my job is suddenly uninspiring. There’s a silver lining in here somewhere, I’m sure…

It comes, eventually, in a strange package; a last-minute job that’s slightly outside my comfort zone, a long way away. Dealing with a movie star can’t be that hard, can it?

He’s hot, of course. And a mess, no doubt. Hates me and wants to be left to self-destruct alone, apparently. But it’s my job to turn it around, turn him around and when I find myself falling for more than just the job, it gets tricky.

The lights are better here, more magical, and I’m not sure if it’s his lack of charm or the prospects for the future but I can almost taste that lemonade… or can I?

Between Takes is a slow burn steamy enemies-to-lovers, boss-assistant romance. It is the first book in the Kings of Screen series. If you enjoy irresistible damaged heroes and take no-nonsense heroines caught in a workplace romance, you’ll love Between Takes.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Only 99c for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

“I don’t need a babysitter. I’m handling it.” He dragged his hands through his thick brown hair, tugging at the ends a little too hard.

Someone is stressed.

“That’s ridiculous,” Shaun muttered. “I’m the star! They wouldn’t.”

They so would – or so Sherry said.

Apparently, he wasn’t the easiest person to handle on set. Just two weeks into a gruelling six-month schedule and Shaun had already alienated half the crew. The producers had been amicable to start, but now they’d started to see that their chosen star was driving them into the sun.

The fight drained from Shaun’s shoulders and the tension bled out of him. Moments later, he slumped against the doorframe. His eyes scanned slowly up my body, and something about his unfocused but softening gaze made goose bumps break out along my arms.

My boss was checking me out.

It lasted for all of five seconds, and then my spine stiffened and I folded my arms across my chest. With a leisurely pace, his eyes rose to my hard face. He smirked before focusing his attention back on Sherry.

“Fine. But it’s a trial and when I say it’s done, it’s done.”

I was fairly certain Sherry wouldn’t agree with his estimations. He tensed and I barely stopped myself from smiling in triumph.

Take that, Hotshot!

“Are you fucking serious?” His eyes fixed on me, eying me like whatever threat Sherry had issued was entirely my fault. Given her desperation to get me here, I was fairly certain it was a threat. I glared right back at him. “Pretty sure I employ you, Sherry. Are you enjoying the beach house my fee earned you?”

Oh yeah, entitled asshole alert. Somebody had forgotten his roots.

My research said Shaun Martin didn’t come from an acting dynasty. He grew up in a small working-class South Wales town, went to a secondary school. If the critics were to be believed, he was a natural talent. He’d never had acting lessons, no Sunday drama clubs or drama classes in school. With all that, you’d think he’d be a bit more humble.

“I’m telling you this won’t work, but whatever.” His lip curled like a sullen child’s. All he needed to do was stomp his foot and the image would be complete. He grumbled one more time then hung up.

Shaun clattered down the steps and sauntered towards me. I tensed and eyed him like the shark he was. He took the coffee from my rigid hands. I was rather proud of myself for keeping the damn thing intact all this time.

“What did you say your name was?”

This close, I had to tip my head back to meet his eyes. I wasn’t short by any stretch of the imagination, but he made me feel tiny and vulnerable. Not a thing I’d ever wanted from a man. And I wouldn’t start wanting it now.

“Mona.”

“Fine, Mona. It looks like you’re my PA.” He sipped the coffee, pulling a face when it hit his tongue. I hated lukewarm coffee too.

He lowered the cup and fixed me with a glower meant to make me sink into the dirt, I’m sure.

“Ground rules: Stay out of my way and we’ll be fine. Take my calls. Your number one job is to keep the producers and my agent away from me. Clear?”

Not bothering to wait for a reply, he turned around and walked back to his trailer. I followed him, disbelief and outrage warring for control of my mouth. Outrage won.

“No dice. I’ll do my job.” My firm tone caused him to spin around, a quirked eyebrow raised. “I’ll keep you on track and that includes keeping you out of a bottle and attending creative meetings with the producers who took a massive gamble on your falling star. My job is to get you through this show in one piece and make sure you’re still hireable.”

“Now, wait—” he started, but I raised my hand, cutting him off. His mouth hung open in shock.

“You may not like me. Or the situation,” I continued, raising my voice to discourage any more interruptions. “But I’m what you’ve got. It’s me or a huge fee when you fail to complete this show and maybe the end of your career as you know it. You have no choices left.”

His lips flatlined as my meaning sank in. If he didn’t get his act together soon, he could kiss his A-list status, and all the perks that came with it, goodbye. If he fucked up this show, he’d be too much of a liability for any of the big studios or production companies to take the risk.

With my speech done and my position clear, I waited. And waited some more. He observed me. His hard gaze bore into me, searching for a crack. I didn’t so much as flinch.

“Fine. It’s you. Now do your job and leave me the fuck alone.” Shaun spun on his heels and bounced up the steps.

The door swung shut behind him again.

Oh no, he didn’t. I stomped up to his door and slammed my fists against it. Not looking for a repeat of the last time, I backed away fast. Taking a deep breath, I squared my shoulders and put on my best “don’t fuck with me” mask and waited.

The door flew open, slamming back against the trailer.

“What!”

“You’re in make-up in five minutes.” I was rather proud of my cool, calm tone.

“Then I’ll go in five.”

“No. It’ll take you five to walk there. You leave now.”

His eyes skimmed my body before returning to my firmly set face.

“You’re a hard-ass. Anyone ever tell you that?”

With a grim smile, I crossed my arms and waited.

At that, Shaun Martin sighed and clattered down the steps before following me to make-up like an obedient dog.

But I wasn’t fooled.


Author Bio:

Morgana Bevan is a sucker for a rock star romance, particularly if it involves a soul-destroying breakup or strangers waking up in Vegas. She’s a contemporary romance author based in Wales. When Morgana’s not writing steamy rock star and movie star romances, she’s working in TV production in the UK.

When not writing, she enjoys travelling, attending gigs, and trying out the extreme activities she forces on her characters.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Pinterest


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Review | Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber

There are summers that will change your life.

There are summers that may end it.

In the lush green hills beyond Florence sits the Villa Medici—a graceful pensione surrounded by manicured gardens. Rachel, a college student from an unfashionable London suburb, can’t believe her luck in landing a summer job here. Especially when she’s drawn into a circle of privileged young sophisticates, including her glamorous coworker Diana, who promises to help Rachel win the affections of handsome, confident Sebastian.

But as champagne flows and rivalries fester in the Tuscan countryside, Rachel realizes that Diana has motivations of her own. Adrift in a world of backstabbing and bed-hopping, lavish parties and easy betrayal, Rachel feels the stakes rising along with the temperature until, one night, something snaps. Someone dies. And nothing will ever be the same…

In this atmospheric thriller set in sun-drenched Tuscany, Lizzy Barber weaves a deadly web of manipulation and desire that will keep readers enthralled until the breathtaking last page.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a book full of twists and turns, plus lots of surprises, this is definitely one for you. At times some of the reveals seemed a little much, especially when none of the characters end up being overly likeable for a number of different reasons. By the end it seems no one is wholly good. I did really enjoy the way the pace was as well as the anticipation that was set up throughout the book, there wasn’t really any lull that would make you want to put down the book. The writing style was engaging as well, which really helped with the overall flow of the book. There certainly was some over the top elements, but in a dark and twisty book that’s not always a bad thing.

Happy reading!

Review | Children of Ragnorok by Cinda Williams Chima

Ever since Ragnarok—the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos–the human realm of the Midlands has become a dangerous place, bereft of magic, where most lead lives of desperation.


Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones. Between fishing, going vikingr, and working his modir’s farm, the family has remained prosperous. But Eiric stands to lose everything when he’s convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is his half-systir, Liv, whose interest in seidr, or magic, has made her a figure of suspicion. Then a powerful jarl steps in: he will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.


Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reggin Eiklund has spent her life traveling from town to town, performing at alehouses all for the benefit of her master, Asger, the fire demon she is desperate to escape. Then after one performance that amazes even Reggin herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make her an irresistible offer: return with them to the temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.


Eiric, Liv, and Reggin’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, the site of the Temple at the Grove, a paradise fueled by magic. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface, and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.


Sweeping adventure, breathtaking twists of fate, and immersive worlds based in Norse mythology are woven into this first volume of the Runestone Saga, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Seven Realms and Shattered Realms series. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I think I’ve said it enough times that anything mythology/lore related will pique my interest and Norse/Nordic is one of the ones that I really enjoy so I was eager to pick this one up.

I have heard great things about Cinda Williams Chima in the past, but hadn’t gotten around to her earlier books, so this was my first experience with her writing and I’m so glad I finally read something from her! The writing style was easy to read but definitely something that could be enjoyed by all ages and I was engaged pretty much from the get go. The characters are well fleshed out in my opinion and I just loved the mystery and adventure that played out in this story.

The world building was wonderfully done and I always like when I feel like I can see things being described, it’s just another way to suck in the reader. I also really liked that this isn’t your typical spin on Norse mythology, but looking at what life might be like for people after the supposed end of Norse mythology (Ragnorok). I’ll definitely picking up further books when they come out!

Happy reading!